Kings Chambers acts for interveners in case regarding freedom of speech

The Supreme Court has given judgment in Kennedy v Charity Commission. A Times journalist sought information about three inquiries by the commission into George Galloway’s Mariam Appeal, which concerned sanctions imposed on Iraq following the first Iraq war. Richard Clayton QC of Kings Chambers acted for the interveners, the Media Legal Defence Initiative and the Campaign for Freedom for Information.

The Supreme Court decided that the Charity Commission was entitled to rely on a provision in the Freedom of Information Act, which created blanket exemption from disclosure, when interpreting that provision on ordinary principles or under the Human Rights Act, and said that article 10 of the European Convention did not confer a right of access to information.

However, the Supreme Court concluded that the journalist could judicially review the Charity Commission, relying on his common law right of freedom of expression.